Thursday, 28 January 2016

The meme turns 40

The Selfish Gene was published 40 years ago. That makes the meme 40 years old.

Matt Ridley has penned an article celebrating 40 years of Selfish Genes. The article is a good one - but it fails to mention the M word.

Memes could turn out to be the most significant contribution made in The Selfish Gene. Dawkins popularized the nascent field of cultural evolution - making it comprehensible to the layman. Five years later four academics published books on the topic, dragging the topic into the academic mainstream, and the rest is history. While the history of cultural evolution long predates The Selfish Gene, retrospectively, 1976 seems like a significant turning point for the field.

No comments:

Post a Comment